Weight loss success starts in your brainHolly Stokes, The Brain Trainer

A Lighter You! System has been over 20 years in the making. I certified as a Nutritional Vitalogist and Herbalist in the 90’s. I was passionate about health and natural healing. I knew all the right foods to eat, but I still craved cookies and sweets.

Just knowing what to do is not enough for weight loss

Throughout my 20’s I worked with at risk teen wilderness therapy groups where I helped students learn positive communication, emotional awareness, confidence and motivation. The work there inspired me to go back to school for my degree in psychology.

Working with the backpacking programs I ate whatever I wanted and was still slim. But when I went back to school, I was no longer hiking 5-10 miles a day. I was studying, reading books and going to classes.

And I gained 40 lbs and I went from a size 10 to a size 14.

While doing my coursework, I was fascinated with the phenomenal results of hypnosis. There were case studies of people using hypnosis in place of anesthesia for surgeries. I was fascinated with the placebo effect, which is an accepted fact showing the power of the mind to change the body. In fact, the scientific world now must use double blind studies where neither the administrator nor the person taking the drug knows if they are receiving a placebo or the real drug. Just knowing or thinking that you are taking a pill will activate the placebo effect.

The mind is so fascinating.

So I was inspired to find a local school that offered a dual certification in Hypnosis and NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming. I didn’t know what NLP was at the time, but as I learned the skills and tools, I was blown away!

It offered the brain skills to manage your mind, your habits and your emotions quickly and effectively. NLP is a field of applied psychology that looks at how the brain codes information and how we can use that code to make updates and changes to our mental habits and patterns.

I was hooked and went on to certify as an NLP Coach, a Master NLP Practitioner and even went to NLP Health training, which is like the graduate course for NLP certification.

So I was about 40 pounds overweight when I went through NLP & Hypnosis Certification.

I used NLP and Hypnosis on myself to lose 40 lbs.

With simple and easy tools, I tried the skills on myself and I lost the 40 lbs plus 10 more and went down 8 dress sizes from a size 14 to a size 6.

I hadn’t really been a size 6 before, but it’s great!

Soon after I graduated Portland State Universtity, I started my business, then called Expanding Potentials in Portland, Oregon 2005.

I taught healthy lifestyle classes and worked with clients one on one to help them change the old habits and mental patterns.

I revamped the nutrition course I was teaching and added my whole foods background and research and created the workbook: A Lighter You! Health Coach’s Guide to Nutrition in Action. Based on science and research for weight loss, it embraces whole foods rather than just calorie counting and takes you from couch potato to superfoods with practical and easy to follow steps. The Nutrition guide focuses on how foods affect your body and knowing what foods cause your body to store fat and to release it.

I blended all my background together to create A Lighter You System

In teaching my classes, I found my healthy lifestyle students needed to know more than foods to avoid. What really got in the way was old habits, cravings, mental blocks, lack of motivation and self sabotage.

They needed the skill set to manage their brain. So I created the 6 week class and wrote the book, A Lighter You! Train Your Brain to Slim Your Body.

Through my own experience and working with clients,  I discovered the 6 essential themes for lasting weight loss and I professionally recorded the Hypnosis CD set: A Lighter You! Mind Body Weight Loss.

If you are done with struggling, if you are ready to turn your problems into stepping stones, if you are ready to change the core issues behind habits, cravings, mental blocks, lack of motivation and self sabotage, you’ll find the answers are in your brain!

I found my challenges transformed as I applied the science of shifting perspectives to change the problems. Before I found these tools, I would say I had an unstable self-esteem, I felt good about myself when life was up, but I really criticized myself, felt depressed and even self-abusive when life wasn’t working how I wanted it to.

Thanks to the tools of applied psychology and namely, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) I quickly changed negative self – talk, increased my confidence and self-esteem, and found it easier to roll with the ups and downs of life, even enjoying the downs! I used to be afraid about the future, I felt stressed and anxious and found it difficult to make plans or have a long-term vision. Now, I see a bright and positive future that continues to evolve with me as I grow.

If I had one message to share – I would say, “Life can be amazing and the way to your amazing self and future are in your brain!”

You may have really struggled with challenges, been self-critical, but found old problems and patterns difficult to change. You may have even thought, “I know I shouldn’t be thinking this,” but you still have the thought or the feeling. These patterns are difficult to change because they are wired into your brain and they run automatically.

Just knowing these patterns are there don’t help them change. Psychologists are great for helping you identify the problem, but then they give it right back to you. I worked with a bunch of psychs I know, “You need to open up more!”  ” You need to be more positive” “You are seeking unavailable men because your dad was distant” Great, but how do you change it?

We’ve picked up these old patterns through our life’s experiences and they affect what we think, what we feel, and even our daily choices and motivation. Our brain is wired into these old ways of perception, that’s why it takes so much conscious focus to change them. It can be frustrating, as if you are watching yourself doing the same old behavior and thinking, “here I go again” but you almost can’t help it.

“It’s not what we look at that matters – its what you see.” — Henry David Thoreau

Being a self-improvement and personal growth junkie myself, I was looking for tools that could help me be a better person and really help people change. In working with teens, I watched them struggle, but still old patterns stayed stuck.

But not anymore! What we know about the brain now is truly amazing and these tools of applied psychology can help you shift the filters of your mind from negative patterns to positive and supportive ones. Here’s just a sample of how I’ve used these tools and strategies to improve my own life:

  • Lost 40 pounds, went from a size 14 to a size 6 and kept it off for 7 years now. I’m even smaller than I was in high school.
  • I use NLP tools to feel comfortable and confident as a speaker. Speaking in front of groups is fun for me.
  • As a child I was high strung with a need to be perfect. Now, although I still have high standards, I feel comfortable with myself and my value as a person. I see mistakes as part of the process of learning and growing through life.
  • I changed negative self talk and criticism to self appreciation (it runs automatically, I don’t have to think “I should be positive”).

It doesn’t mean I no longer have problems, I just have better tools to handle them. And some of the things that I would have called “problems” before, I see them as stepping stones in life.

What if you really saw yourself in the mirror and felt great about you rather than focusing the “flaws” or what you didn’t like. What if you got up in the morning energized and excited about your life?

What you see matters – When you look at your life, what do you see?

I’ve brought together some of the most powerful tools to help you get to the core of your problems, shift the old negative patterns, create new mental habits almost instantly, embrace your highest potential, and translate your vision of what is possible into your daily life! Here’s some of the certifications and tools I bring to my work with clients.

  • Life Coaching offers ongoing structure and support for staying on track with your goals and achieving the big picture of your life. We begin by taking a snapshot of where you are now and where you want to be. Create clarity in what you want, design your life by your highest values, align your goals to your higher purpose, mission and vision for living. Then, through an action plan of logical steps, and through ongoing support, you can stay on track with what’s most important. Create your best future today – one step at a time!

But just having a plan of action is not enough! With just coaching, you might find yourself recirculating the same problem over and over again, explaining why you didn’t follow through on your intention, still struggle with the same negative thoughts and feelings, this is where Brain Training tools comes in:

  • Thought Pattern Management (TPM), Because my clients get so much results in a single session, I’ve made this foundational to the work I do! Clients feel more focused in the present moment and with a greater ability to enjoy life! In just one session, we can teach your mind a positive strategy to embrace the lessons of life, release the negative emotions, and align yourself to your highest potential. My clients often explain that they just feel happier and better able to roll with the ups and downs of life.

“The single session Thought Pattern Management truly did change my life. My mind stopped rehashing the past and it was like a cloud lifted from how I saw the world and myself. ” –Shawn B, Portland Oregon.

  • NLP Neuro-Linguistic Programming is the practical application of applied psychology. With NLP, you can quickly change negative habits and patterns by training the brain to create new habits quickly. Eliminate fears, anxieties, release the effects of past traumas, feel more confident, stay focused, find your motivation, and change the mental obstacles that get in the way, like “I’m not good enough,” or “I need to be perfect.”  When your brain is wired into how you want to think and feel, you don’t have to struggle with the old patterns anymore.

NLP has been called “the user’s guide to the brain” giving you the tools to take charge of your habits, patterns, and even update old “programs” which may be operating against you. With these easy to use, practical tools, you’ll find yourself breaking free of old patterns – and moving your life forward like never before! see the map of the brain and NLP

  • Hypnosis: There are many myths and misconceptions about hypnosis because of the stage stuff. But hypnosis is really just a way to focus your mind to get the results you want. Have you ever experienced self-sabotage, almost like, “a part of me wants to do this and a part of me doesn’t?”
  • Hypnosis helps you align your deeper self (unconscious mind) to be on track with your conscious goals. With this alignment, habit and pattern change happens so easily and naturally, it’s almost automatic! Hypnosis has amazing results, from clinical anaesthesia and pain management to stress reduction, replacing habits, smoking and weight loss and more. Update your internal blueprint for the health, change your habits, enhance your body, and live the life you want. Hypnosis is simply a tool for focusing your mind and awareness on what you really want – whether its your health, your well-being, changing habits, cravings, or addictions – you can find your path to self-mastery!

I integrate these amazing tools of NLP, TPM, and Hypnosis, as requested by clients to update old habits and patterns that have been getting in the way. Rather than going round in circles as some Coaches may do, where the client faces the same issue over and over, – we simply help the brain create new patterns, setting your mind up for success for the next week.

These tools are a powerful combination to springboard your life to the next level!

I work with clients all over the U.S. by phone and I meet clients in person in Salt Lake City, UT. I offer classes, workshops, and trainings designed to maximize life and tap into your boundless potential. Get the most from your life: Clear what’s been holding you back, create your compelling future, and let’s make it happen!

“If you are not 100% in love with your life and body, we should talk!”

Call Now to Schedule Your Weight Loss Analysis Session:  801-810-9406

Certifications and Trainings:

  • 1994 Certified As A Nutritional Vitalogist with The Dr. Christopher School of Natural Healing, Springville, UT
  • 1996 Certified As An Herbalist with The Dr. Christopher School of Natural Healing, Springville, UT
  • 2005 Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Portland State University, Portland, OR
  • 2005 Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner Certification from Apositiva, Portland OR
  • 2005 Certified as Clinical Hypnotherapist from Apositiva, Portland OR
  • 2006 Certified as NLP Coach with NLPCA in Seattle, WA www.nlpca.com
  • 2006 Certified as Master NLP Practitioner with NLPCA in San Francisco, CA
  • 2006 Opened Expanding Potentials, LLC 2010 changed the name to The Brain Trainer, LLC
  • 2008 Certified as NLP Health Practitioner in San Francisco, CA
  • 2008 Author of A Lighter You! Health Coach’s Guide to Nutrition in Action
  • 2008 Certified as Thought Pattern Management Practitioner, Vancouver, WA
  • 2010 Author of A Lighter You! Train Your Brain to Slim Your Body

 Yes, you can have the life, health and body you want! And I’m here to help you make it happen!

With the right tools and support, you’ll discover there is nothing that can stop you! I bring together the most powerful tools in the field of applied psychology including Life Coaching, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Thought Pattern Management (TPM), and Hypnosis. With an integrated approach – creating the change you want can be fun and even easy!

Discover your untapped potential – and the power that is you! With advances in the fields of applied psychology and understanding the human mind, personal growth is now easier, quicker, and more efficient than ever.

Discover your power over what you think, and learn to choose how you feel! When you train your brain – making positive change can be fun and easy!

Are you ready to get started? Call Now to Schedule Your Free Consultation: 801-810-9406

Or Watch the Videos: Diet Myths Exposed here


Here’s to Your Health, Happiness and Success!